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Rare Nickel Found
By Coins Magazine
February 10, 2014

This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine.
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Until now, I have not had much to write about. I go looking through coin rolls from the banks, finding silver coins, wheat pennies, the occasional Buffalo nickel, mint errors, foreign coins, and sometimes even a proof. This day started out like any other day. I went to the bank to get some boxes of coins. I got home and started looking through them. I was about half way through my nickel box when I found a coin that was almost smooth. It turned out to be a V nickel.

I got excited, as I have not found one before. I looked at the date, 1885. I could not believe what was seeing. I thought it must be a common low-value coin. So I looked at Coins magazine. I found the 1885 and in Good-4 it read $585. At this time I thought it must be a mistake.

Now I’m thinking two things: 1. It must be a fake. 2. The previous handler thought it was foreign.

I then took it to my local coin shop. I showed it to the dealer and he confirmed it was real and in Good-3, and I told him how I got it afterward.

He really didn’t want me to leave with the coin and his last words were, “Are you sure you won’t take $300? It can come in handy.”

This is a coin is now in my safe and my last question that is still unanswered is: How did a coin of this magnitude end up in a coin roll in Alaska?

Glenn Zisa
Palmer, Aka

This isn’t your typical coin finds letter. I enjoy searching a large number of Lincoln cents, with everybody saving them for me to search.

My daughter gave me a bag full, and when I picked it up, I heard a discernible clink, either a piece of clad coinage or some other non-cent item. To my delight, it was an elongated coin. It was a penny and it made my day being a member of the Elongated Collectors Club, that was almost as good as finding a 1909-S V.D.B. Elongated coins are fun.

You all should give them a whirl. Contact

Michael P. Schmeyer
Spencer, N.Y.

Being a collector of coins in plastic, cubes and sand timers, I’m pleased to have a piece from Northwestern Mutual Life that was found at a flea market by my wife Bernie. We both have this insurance.

I was happy to get an 1857 Flying Eagle cent in this piece. It has a sand timer and reads: “The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company/Centennial/1857/1957/Safeguarding Tomorrow.”

I contacted the home office of Northwestern Mutual Life and they advised that in 1957 only company agents received them.

Larry Thiem
Omaha, Neb.

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Recently, at my local bank, I picked up a few rolls of dimes and later I discovered in one roll three Mercury dimes and an 1866 silver three-cent piece, the size of a dime, in very good condition. However, on the back of the coin it appeared to be completely plain, with no markings.

I then discovered with a high-powered jeweler’s magnifying glass that someone has inscribed the Lord’s Prayer on the back of the coin and on the bottom of the coin it read “000.1 reward to any person who read this with naked eye. W.W. Powel.”

It amazes me how someone could and did inscribe 24 lines on the back and size of this coin.

Joseph Sinnott
Phillips, Wis.

I have been retired for two years now from 3M New Ulm. I enjoy walking down to the Alliance Bank (one of five different banks in New Ulm). Once a month I would obtain a roll of Presidential dollar coins. Then, when the program was stopped, I converted over to the circulated dollar rolls, hoping to find some Anthony dollars or Philadelphia Mint coins of the 20 already released.

On Aug. 2, I received a roll and found a President Grover Cleveland (second term) Denver Mint. This must have been from an uncirculated roll purchased from the U.S. Mint. So is it worth $32.95/25 = $1.32?

In the summer of 2012, my granddaughter Shylo and I were spending the day together. She is into art, so we can bond together with coins. I had accumulated four rolls of half dollars. As we looked through the coins, we were hoping to find some 1964-1969 Kennedy half dollars. She ended up finding a 1957-D Franklin and a 1964 Kennedy. We may never have that kind of an enjoyment find again.

Darrell Hilbert
New Ulm, Minn.

After some time away from contributing to your column, which I always enjoy reading first when I get each issue of the magazine, I’m glad to once again submit my most recent coin find. While funds are tight these days for me, I still enjoy keeping an eye open for the next big hunt for new coins.

Recently, I stopped at a yard sale in my neighborhood and was surprised to find someone selling off a small lot of coins that the family’s now adult child no longer wished to keep. The coins were all together in a small wooden cigarette box that had belonged to the man of the house long ago.

The wife was now asking $5 for the cigarette box and all of the old coins inside of it. I figured the box alone was worth that much. The coins inside were a hodgepodge of early 1900s American coins (mostly a few nickels in fair condition and number of wheats). There were, however, three coins that particularly caught my eye.

The first is an 1898 Indian Head cent in Very Good to Fine. It now fills a hole I once had in my Indian Head collection. The other two were foreign coins. One of the coins is a 1970 British half crown perhaps in Very Fine. The other is a Russian coin that I am unfamiliar with. It is dated 1928, has a “50” on it (but I don’t know the denomination that this 50 goes with as it appears to be written in Russian), and is in Fine condition.

I’ll be having both of the foreign coins evaluated in the coming days by someone more familiar with foreign coins to grade them and to see what value they might have. Even if they are of low value, I am still excited to have them in my collection, and may not start to expand my coin collecting intentionally to foreign coins as well. They are certainly worth the $5 I paid for them to me, regardless of what is said by some more knowledgeable than I am on them.

Keep on collecting, people. There are always good things waiting to be found.

Steve Watts
Gallatin, Tenn.

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